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Social Welfare, the Neo-Conservative Turn, and Educational Opportunity

Publisher: Journal of Philosophy of Education, 38 (2)
Page Numbers: 275-286

This essay examines the educational opportunities of people in poverty who receive social welfare assistance. The dominant political theory underlying social policy (including education policy) in the United States has evolved from 1960s and 1970s welfare liberalism into 1980s and 1990s style neoconservatism — a theory that embraces principles of the market and individual liberty as paramount social values. Against this backdrop, the author reviews two recent books that provide compelling evidence for this turn and calls for increased understanding of the relationship between social welfare policies and higher education opportunities for those in poverty.